A Year of Poems – Day 274

A bookshelf is a line of pointers
A dynamic record of what I once knew
With variables pointing to the spot
Where all that knowledge sits
Uncorrupted, I hope, although I know
The electromagnetic pulse of time corrupts us all
The tape has degraded, rewound too often
Which is also why the books are there
To reread and refresh the old bits and bytes
With ink that cuts deep to the heart
Even when the hard drive fails.

A Year of Poems – Day 233

Forget, the word falls often as a curse
Lamenting all which passed from memory
Old friends, a chore, or sometimes something worse –
A game, a play, an anniversary –
Lives forgotten hunting for something less.
With age it gains another note – a balm
A healing salve to dull the pain of time
When rhymes are lost in the press of minutes
A calm unlooked for at life’s last limit
Before all the pain can be forgotten,
But the word still curses all the blossoms
Fallen from the tree which like seeds will grow
Products of death, decay, a sudden fall
But blooming with unlooked for life. Knowing
the forging pain. Petals both know and forget.

A Year of Poems – Day 226

Five houses from my house
Past the small church,
the chain link fence,
and the barking bull dog
Just beyond the telephone poll
Covered with an excess of ivy,
spilling into a green puddle on the sidewalk,
was my park with its swings and slides.
It was the place I pilgrimaged with my brother
dragging my mother as often as we could.

In truth there was no special grace
imbued into the rust colored plastic
and the short stubby little swings.
There was a dingy balance beam
Surrounded by tall pine trees
but the park was otherwise indistinguishable
from any other Pacific park,
or even other parks I lived near,
except I once took my grandmother to that park.

We walked together past the ivy
and the sign for the middle school,
talking about who knows what,
as I showed her my place where I played,
returning the hospitality she had shown at her house.
Her hand around mine or my brother’s
listening as we showed her our ordinary park.
We played and walked back.
She made us apple dumplings in our kitchen.
That park was richer for those apple dumplings.

A Year of Poems – Day 169

High octane down the garden lane
Cascading towards a rocky fate
Bruised knees and bleeding palms
Bruises heal and scrapes will fade
Memories too will disappear
And weeds will change the garden’s face

Do we freeze the moment, as it was,
Protect the garden, stop the pain
Control the child, end the run
Fence in the roses and the rocks
All for a lasting memory
A photograph which will not fade?

Or do we leap across the lane
Making choices we may well forget
Yet making choices none the less
With all the wisdom we can fake.
Running through the garden gate
Our aging brains may well forget
But our souls will know a life well led.

A Year of Poems – Day 151

When memories fade like melting glass,
searing eyes with brilliance as they pass,
they hover as an afterimage
with some vitality diminished
until they fade like photographs,
this present’s passing epigraph
read in words now dull as stone,
which once shone out – a living tome.

A Year of Poems – Day 119

I’ll point to the spot in memory
where all of this is stored
or where it was stored last time I checked.
Somewhere above the dresser
or near my shelf next to that photo,
unless I left it somewhere else.

See that’s the thing with memories
they’re never where I left them last.
But I can always find some other thought
tied to the book worn with turning,
or sewed to my favorite flannel
like an old button cracked with love.
Memories flutter around every well-used thing
like moths to an old flame.
Till the flame goes out and they all disperse
and I’m left searching for my keys.